In another reality, the iPod nano shipped without buttons

In another reality, the iPod nano shipped without buttons

In the lead-up to his book “Build”, Tony Fadell took to Twitter and released some mockups of the Apple iPod nano. Most times when you get to see these types of photos, they are interesting for several reasons. Mainly because you get a rare glimpse into a world you would otherwise never get to see.

Fadell was brought on board Apple as a contractor. He found support in this role for his idea of a hard disk-based MP3 player with an accompanying music store. If the device sounds familiar, you probably know where this is going. The idea caught the attention of Steve Jobs and this is how the iPod was born. If creating one iconic product wasn’t enough, Fadell would later go on to become the co-creator of the iPhone.


Perhaps the most interesting mockup in the bunch is the iPod nano without any buttons. At this point, Apple could have been going in a different direction than its traditional iPod design. Naturally, Fadell could have been working on both the iPod and iPhone simultaneously. But it’s still interesting to think that the iPod nano could have been buttonless in another reality. This would have been a huge leap at the time, as the click wheel was so iconic.

Despite Fadell’s time with Apple coming to an end in 2008, he would go on to co-found Nest Labs. This company would later be purchased by Google. Even now, his legacy and design still carry on at Apple. As we can see his design in the recent release of the iPhone SE 3. If you’d like to learn more about Tony Fadell, his book “Build” releases tomorrow.

Source: Tony Fadell (Twitter)

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